LEWIS HAMILTON’s dreadful start to the season continued when he spun off in Bahrain and was left stuck in the gravel.
The world champion cut a dejected figure after losing control of his Mercedes at low speed.
Hamilton lost grip at Turn 13 and slid slowly backwards into the gravel at under 80mph.
Hamilton tried to drive away but his car was beached on the stone and needed rescuing from a pick-up truck.
Former F1 driver Martin Brundle said: “It’s so unusual to see Lewis looking at a stricken car these days.
“But he’s not exactly the only driver to be flying off the road today.”
Fellow ex-racer Karun Chandhok added: “It’s really rare to see a mistake from Lewis, especially at testing.
“I’m trying to think of all the pre-season tests I’ve been to in the last five, six years and I can’t think of one time he has been in the gravel.
“You see the odd thing where he goes off in the run-off area or something – but everyone does that. To see him cause a red flag, I can’t think of a moment like that.”
In further embarrassment, his Mercedes was lifted high into the air, exposing the car’s floor, which the team had tried to protect from prying eyes.
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It follows on from Friday’s session where he finished 10th on the timesheets, while his teammate Valtteri Bottas suffered a gearbox problem.
It resulted in the team completing fewer miles than any other team when usually they display bullet-proof reliability during testing.
Bottas had questioned the team’s decision not to run a shakedown during an official filming day, something every other team took advantage of.
And on Friday night Hamilton said: “It wasn’t the cleanest of days that we’ve had but these things are sent to try you.
“Everyone has worked extremely hard to get us here. We had that mishap in the morning which was very unfortunate for Valtteri in terms of losing time on track and the team is working hard to try and understand what that was.
“The second session wasn’t without its challenges, but we exist to find solutions to the problems we are faced with.
“We have no choice but to take the positives. I remember in 2007 during testing I had 10 days in the car and now it’s getting less and less.
“We only have a day and a half in the car before the first race, with different tyres and different aero modifications so it’s not easy but it’s the same for everyone.
“I’d like to think my nine years’ experience with this team will help me get the best out of it.”
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